An Anniversary Worth Celebrating

When the inaugural TAB Highway Handicap was run at Randwick two years ago it was welcomed by the industry with open arms.
On October 17 in 2015 13 country-trained horses lined up in a race worth double the prizemoney they would normally compete for at a track they wouldn’t normally get a start
Grand Proposal won the inaugural Highway Handicap for Queanbeyan trainer Neville Layt and ridden by Winona Costin.
Since then the TAB Highway series has become a highlight of Saturday racing, affording the connections of country-trained horses the metropolitan experience.
There have been 88 TAB Highway races with 1018 starters. Prizemoney has been increased to $60,000 and the total prizemoney awarded has exceeded $4.5 million.

On Saturday the concept celebrates its second anniversary with a $200,000 TAB Anniversary Highway. Some 42 horses were nominated, prompting Racing NSW to order a consolation race worth $100,000 to cater for the overflow.
The leading TAB Highway trainer Matthew Dunn from Murwillumbah.
He boasts 12 wins to date and will be represented in the Anniversary Highway by Delightful Feeling.
The gelding has won two TAB Highways previously and is coming off a strong last start win at the Gold Coast.
Dunn also has previous TAB Highway winners Zamex, Madame De Ban and Bronzed Venom and last Saturday’s Highway placegetter Cascata Rossa in the Consolation.
“We’ve targeted the TAB Highways over the last 12 months so this race is of extra significance to We’re excited to be part of it,” Dunn said.

Canberra’s Matthew Dale, who has trained 10 TAB Highway winners, has Superstar Bob in the Consolation but his focus on the day will be on Fell Swoop running in the $10 million TAB Everest.
Other successful TAB Highway trainers will be saddling runners in the Anniversary including Danny Williams (Pumpkin Pie), Barbara Joseph and Paul Jones (Darts Away) and Mack Griffith (Puzzling Wonder).
Five horses who ran in last season’s Country Championships Final will also line up in the Anniversary including runner-up After All That, third placegetter Not For Export, Galaxy Warrior, Pumpkin Pie and Cogliere.
The two-time TAB Highway winner Suncraze, is the early favourite. The gelding, trained by Melanie O’Gorman at Tamworth, has never finished worse than second in his nine-race career.

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